How to Choose the Best Sneakers for Your Collection


Did you know that there is a pair of sneakers worth $2 million? You read that sentence right— owning the Solid Gold OVO x Air Jordans could make you a multimillionaire. Similarly, the Kayne West Nike Air Yeezy 1 'prototype" sneakers are worth $1.8 million.

If you've been thinking of starting a collection of your own, seeing the price tags on many collectible sneakers can be discouraging. However, you don't have to worry; most of the best sneakers you'll want to start your collection will not break the bank.

Sure, we've mentioned two of the most expensive sneakers globally, but the fact that a pair of sneakers could be worth that much makes it an excellent reason to consider starting a collection. So, if this is something that interests you, you've come to the right place.

Read on for a complete guide on finding and choosing the best sneakers for your collection.

Start Simple

Everyone wears shoes, which makes the fact that the footwear industry is worth well over $300 billion not that surprising. With so much demand for the best next thing in the market, sneaker companies are constantly coming up with incredible kicks that collectors and casual sneaker wearers love. Therefore, it can be overwhelming to find sneakers worth getting for your collection.

So, if you are a complete newbie, the best advice anyone could give you is to start simple. There are many sneakers out there that are inexpensive, easily accessible, and still suitable for a great collection. Here is a list of some of the best must-have sneakers to get your collection started:

Tech Runner Shoes

A pair of good ole' tech runner shoes is a must-have for anyone getting into sneaker collecting. Although there are many on the market, try to look for a pair you'll want to wear— find a color that you like, the right fit, etc. Some great options include Adidas' Adizero Pro shoes for around $180USD and Nike's Air Zoom Pegasus 37 for $120USD.

Unless they are a limited edition item or a rare find, tech runner shoes will likely not be that expensive. The best part is that they are fashionable, great for your daily outings, and still a fantastic addition to any rookie sneaker collection.

A Pair of Classic Sneakers

If you prefer a more classic look, you can start your collection by investing in an OG classic sneaker such as Adidas' Samba Classic Shoes or a pair of Nike's Superstar sneakers. Depending on how classic they are, you might have to pay a little extra. However, having at least one pair of classics is a must for any sneaker collector.

Air Jordan

Everyone and their mothers have at least heard of Air Jordan, so getting a pair is a fantastic place to start if you are looking to build a collection from scratch. Air Jordans have been popular for decades, and although they are not the cheapest sneaker out there (they start at a couple of hundred dollars), they look great with everything and are some of the best sneakers out there.

You can find Jordans for sale on many different online retailers and physical stores. The best part is that there are many different kinds of Jordans now, which will make it easy for you to find a pair that matches your aesthetic and preferences.

The Chuck Taylor

No sneaker collection would be complete without a pair of good ole' Chuch Taylors. If you want to take the idea of 'starting simple' very seriously, you might want to start your collection with a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Star. It will only set you back around fifty bucks and become a pair of sneakers you'll probably wear constantly.

Talk to Other Collectors

If you feel like you already have most of the starter picks and want to start investing in limited edition and rare finds, you should consider befriending other collectors. There are many online forums for sneaker collectors that can help you navigate the process of growing your collection.

Talking to other collectors will help you in many ways, specifically:

Finding Good Deals

Online forums full of sneaker enthusiasts are some of the best places to learn about the latest sales. Because there are people from all over the country and even the world participating in these forums, you'll be able to find all the best deals available everywhere.

Sure, some people won't share the good news until after taking advantage (especially when there are limited quantities). Still, many of the participants in these groups will let you in if there is a great opportunity.

Learning All the Lingo

Do you know all there is to know about "grails"? What about "silhouettes"?  "Drops"?

The world of sneakers is full of jargon that you might not immediately recognize unless you do your research. Joining groups and online forums full of sneaker collectors will make understanding this lingo incredibly easy.

Fully submerging yourself in sneaker culture is the best way to be knowledgeable and avoid purchasing a pair of sneakers that won't benefit you or your collection. If you are entirely new to the game, take some notes and learn what all of those words mean! That way, next time you are out there scouting your next pair, you'll sound like a total expert.

Keeping Up With Release Dates

Because demand for some sneakers is so high, you might miss the opportunity to purchase a highly sought-after pair if you are unaware of its release date. Some collectible sneakers can sell out within minutes of them being released, so if there is a specific pair that you long for, it is better to be very diligent and try to purchase them the minute they come out.

Otherwise, you might have to wait months for them to restock or miss out on them entirely if they were limited-edition items.

If you join one or several online groups or forums, you can count on the fact that everyone will constantly talk and remind each other of significant release dates. So, participating in these groups can serve as great motivation to never miss out on a pair of popular sneakers for your collection.

Getting Opinions and Help

Picture this: you find a pair of sneakers at a thrift store that you think could be worth a lot of money. Do you buy them, or do you consider them junk and move on?

Finding sneaker treasures out there is not uncommon, but if you are entirely new (or kind of new) to the game, you might not know how to recognize if there is an excellent opportunity in front of you.

A significant advantage of online groups and forums is that it has members that reside all over the world. So, you can rest easy knowing that there will always be someone online who will read your posts and comments and might be able to help you out if you are ever found in a dilemma like the one we just discussed.

However, not all your questions have to be about hidden gems you found at your local antique store. Even if you just have a small question about a new release or a limited edition pair, these groups are full of knowledgeable people who will happily help you out as you navigate sneaker culture.

Learning How to Recognize Fakes

Unfortunately, many people sell fake replicas of some of the most popular collectibles. Many times, these replicas can look nearly identical to the real thing. Therefore, another big reason to consider joining an online group or forum full of other collectors is to get some help and opinions if you think you might be getting scammed.

Having a community to reach out to if you suspect a fake pair of sneakers can save you time, money, and a lot of anger. Many of the people who participate in these online groups have been collecting shoes for many years. Therefore, many of them will be able to identify a fake by just looking at a couple of pictures.

In time, you'll be able to recognize fakes easily. However, it is great to have a community behind you who will help you out and give you opinions if you suspect something might be wrong with one of your sneaker purchases.

Keep Up With Local Stores

If you don't love the idea of joining groups and forums full of sneaker enthusiasts, there are still ways to find and purchase sneakers. One of the most efficient ways to do so is by keeping up with local sneaker stores around your area.

If you can, visit a few and talk to some of the sales reps. They'll be able to point you in the direction of the best sneakers they have around the store and might even let you in on some secrets about how to get the limited edition items.

Make sure to sign up for their newsletter and follow them on all social media platforms. That way, you'll be less likely to miss news about releases, restocks, etc.

If you live in a town with not many sneaker stores worth exploring, consider joining the newsletter of stores in nearby towns and cities. Even if they seem far, you might be able to drive down if there is ever an exciting release.

Buying Sneakers Online

Purchasing sneakers online for your collection is also a great alternative if there are limited brick-and-mortar stores in your area. However, keep in mind that you might face greater competition buying sought-after items online, as people from all over the country and world can access them easily.

Buy Sneakers You Actually Love

Nowadays, many people only collect sneakers because of their resale potential. Although that is an entirely valid reason to start your sneaker collection (hello, $2 million sneakers), there are many sneakers out there that are genuinely amazing simply because of their cultural value.

One of the best parts about having a robust sneaker collection is the array of incredibly cool kicks that you can wear. Therefore, don't miss out on a fashionable find because you don't see any resale potential. As you start exploring the incredible world of sneaker culture, pick up some items because you love them, not just because you could potentially resell them for a high price.

Caring For Your Sneakers

Whether you choose to collect sneakers for the resale value or cultural appeal, you must research how to properly care for every pair you buy. Here are some care tips:
  • Consider purchasing a protective spray to keep your sneakers nice and clean
  • Although you can technically wash your shoes in the washing machine, try to stir clear from it and opt for hand cleaning all of your sneakers
  • Store your sneakers in a dry environment
Taking good care of your sneakers is a great way to keep your collection valuable!

Find the Best Sneakers for Your Collection

Now that you know everything about how to find and buy the best sneakers, you'll be able to finally start that collection you've always wanted!

Remember to start simple and purchase some collection staples like Air Jordans or Chuck Taylors. Then, if you want to grow your collection and get into the limited-edition stuff, join an online forum to get the best advice from other collectors from around the world. Finally, remember that collecting sneakers does not only have to be for the resale value, and start buying sneakers that you actually want to wear.

Did you enjoy learning about how to start your sneaker collection? Check out the rest of our fashion content for more tips and tricks!

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